Let The Games Begin
January 22, 2008 • General
Greetings everyone! Today was the beginning of the tournament and, as usual, there was plenty of drama in the round. There were many intriguing games and matchups.
I was paired against the Dutch IM Edwin Van Haastest whom I beat in the Dominican Republic several years ago. I prepared a rather quiet subline within the English Attack of the Najdorf and was about equal until my opponent misunderstood the position and played the move 15.Nce2?! after the game we analyzed the highly interesting 15.g4 which would have led to a much more complicated game. However, after this slight blunder I was able to take control of the game and win without too many worries.
On the other top boards there was a lot more drama. On board one Wang-Dzagnidze saw a complicated middle game arise, but despite obtaining a solid positional edge, Wang was unable to convert and the game ended in a repitition. On board two in the game Paehtz-Bu, led to a horribly messy middlegame with Bu garnering a small advantage. However, Paehtz was probably drawing the game until she started moving her minor pieces to the wrong squares deep in the second time control. The game which really caught my attention though was the game Ni Hua-Joe Bradford. Joe Bradford is one of the few other players besides myself and Varuzhan who hails from the United States. The opening was a standard French Tarrasch in which Ni Hua had a very minute positional advantage. Joe managed to hang tough for most of the game and actually reached a drawn endgame before he overlooked a complex king manouver and proceeded to lose.
All in all, a very eventful first day here in Gibraltar! Surprisingly, I have not been able to obtain internet access from my room yet, so I have not been able to log on and post any pictures yet. Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures in the near future…stay posted.